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GOP Blocks Unemployment Insurance Bill, Senate Leaves for July 4th Recess

June 30, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

For the fourth time in a month, Senate Democrats on Wednesday night failed to win enough votes to overcome a Republican filibuster of a bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 4213). After the failed vote, the Senate adjourned for recess until July 12th.

“It is beyond disappointing that Republicans continue to stand almost lockstep against assistance for out-of-work Americans – especially since many of these same Republicans spent months protecting Wall Street and preserving tax cuts for CEOs who ship American jobs overseas,” Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] said after the vote.

The final tally was 58-38. 60 votes were needed under Senate rules to pass the motion on breaking the filibuster known as “cloture”. Majority Leader Reid voted “no” on the bill in order to preserve his right under Senate rules to bring the bill up again in the future for another vote, so the Democrats were actually just one vote shy of passing the motion. Republicans Sen. Susan Collins [ME] and Sen. Olympia Snowe [ME] voted with Democrats in favor of the bill. Conservative Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans agains it.

Sen. George Voinovich [R, OH] said after the vote that he would have provided the one vote Democrats needed to pass the cloture motion if some of it was paid for with money from the stimulus bill. “In order to move forward, yesterday I told Leader Reid that I would support extending unemployment insurance if Democrats would be willing to use some of the estimated $40 billion in unspent stimulus monies to help offset at least half of the stand-alone unemployment insurance extension," Voinovich said. “He flatly rejected this request even though Democratic Leadership was going to take $10 billion from the stimulus to help pay for business tax breaks just last week.”

After the vote, Reid said that the Senate will not vote on the bill again until a replacement for recently-deceased Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV] is seated in the Senate. West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin (D) is in charge of appointing a replacement and he will likely do so over the July 4th recess.

By the time the Senate reconvenes on July 12, data from the Labor Department suggests that more than 2 million unemployed Americans will see their unemployment insurance benefits cut off due to the Republicans’ objections to the extension bill. Benefits began expiring for people on June 1st when the last extension of the benefits expired. Before then, unemployed individual were eligible for up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits under an extended, four-tier federal program created by the 2009 stimulus bill. Now that the federal program has been allowed to expire, newly unemployed individuals are eligible for a maximum of 26 weeks of state-provided benefits.

Still, people who have had their benefits cut off in the past month should expect to become eligible once again for the full 99 weeks and to have their lost benefits paid back to them retroactively. Wednesday’s vote makes it clear that as soon as a replacement for Byrd is seated in the Senate, the Democrats will have the 60 votes they need to overcome Republican opposition and pass the bill.

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Displaying 151-180 of 185 total comments.

  • mamart 07/01/2010 8:29am

    I’m sure like everyone posting comments on this site I feel a mess of emotions. I think of the families that won’t be able to enjoy eating hotdogs and hamburgers on the 4th. The innocence that is stripped away from our children when we have to explain to them that we can not afford to celebrate the 4th of July. It’s not right, but we need to understand that we hold the keys to our future. We need to do everything in our power to make sure that we will not let these heartless politicians affect our families in this way again. We need to hold on to the anger and the pain until november and vote accordingly. Things will get better I have faith in the good Lord above. We just need to support each other and hold on. Never forget what they have done to our children. I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers. God Bless you all.

  • jpocalips1 07/01/2010 8:37am

    Do any of you posting comments here, find it abit odd, that their is so little media coverage about this?

  • Comm_reply
    pamtech70 07/01/2010 8:49am

    Yea, I Do…..

  • triciacelt 07/01/2010 8:40am


  • ssimms1980 07/01/2010 8:41am

    Everyone, please, please, please go to at the following link to sign the petition to separate the UE extension from the rest of bill H.R. 4213! Also, have everyone you know go and sign it too!

  • jenny2010 07/01/2010 8:41am

    Just like life itself, there is GOOD and EVIL in the Senate. God bless the Senate.

  • Revolution 07/01/2010 8:43am

    I am flying my flag upside down through 4th of July and until the Unemployment Bill/assistance has been approved. Flying the flag this way is NOT disrespectful to what our flag stands for but it is a Universally known sign of Distress-We are in Distress and our REPUBLICAN Senators have declared war on their own citizens with their votes. I am a Veteran and I am disqusted with how they are treating are own AMERICAN families! Pass this on to all blogs, media, friends, family etc..change your profile picture to the distress sign..get attention that is needed. Americans are under fire and in distress!

  • pamtech70 07/01/2010 8:47am

    Yea, I agree WITH ALL OF YOU! This shows you exactly how MUCH they CARE about US! I can’t believe they have recessed till JULY 12th!!!!! They make me sick….Like was stated before…I hope they choke on their 4th of JULY barbecue chicken! I will pray for my hatefulness………..It just does not make any sense????!!!! Gosh, )-:

  • HoustonTx25 07/01/2010 8:50am


  • MrHappy 07/01/2010 8:58am

    For those of you that asked. Laws must pass both the house and the senate. And they have to be the same law and then signed by the President.

    For all of you out there hurting, please try to hold on till the 12th. It should be fixed then. Of course it could be fixed now if the Dems and the Reps would have just worked together. I know asking a lot.

    For those of you talking about the lack of news. Does this really surprise you all? Remember Katrina?

    Major news will not really start reporting on this until something bloody happens, ie if it bleeds it leads. Ever notice the major news outlets pick their news very carefully for ratings so they can sell us all dog food and crap. Course dog food will soon be the new people food.

  • faith2405 07/01/2010 8:59am

    please call senator harry reid and ask him to call back the senate to a special session and get HR4213 passed. 1-202-224-3542!

  • Comm_reply
    NewOakie 07/01/2010 9:02am

    Are you kidding?

    It’s been defeated 4 times.

  • onecent301 07/01/2010 9:00am

    These "elected: officials in congress are so unprofessional. I watched them on CSPAN and they are fighting with each other. I think this bill is no longer about the unemployed people, it is about who will win the argument. Wow, grow up congress, put your petty hatred for each other aside and address the problem, over 1.2 million people may very well be homeless if they don’t so something!

  • RobertB 07/01/2010 9:30am

    This whole debate is an example of the sad, current state of politics in the United States. We the people have ALLOWED the Republicans AND the Democrats to get away with letting their diametrically opposed ideologies dictate their every action. We have now gotten to the point where we are watching BOTH political parties use the very well-being of the “American People” as a means of applying pressure on each other.

  • RobertB 07/01/2010 9:37am

    On one side, you have the Republicans continuing to follow a coordinated response to everything the Democrats have tried to accomplish by using every blocking and stalling tactic at their disposal (The Party of No). The Republicans believe their strategy will convince the “American People” that the Democrats are ineffective on turning the economy around. That is why they keep trying to make the Democrats use the money from the stimulus. Taking that money undermines whatever good it can do and the Republicans know it. Their goal all along is to undermine the recovery to position themselves for November and 2012.

    On the other side, Democrats are trying to play hardball on this issue hoping the Republicans would cave to the pressure of the Unemployment INSURANCE running out. They underestimated just how uncaring the Republicans really are. The unemployed are not the people that vote Republican and the Republicans know it. They are pandering to the ones still working.

  • pamtech70 07/01/2010 10:49am

    “Senate Leaves for July 4th Recess”………Boy, does that RUB me wrong! Good Gosh! Why so dang LONG!!! Till the 12th? Why Not the 5th or 6th! People are not gonna be able to hold on till the 12th…..I have not lost my house, (because I used all of my 401k) but others are about to…!!! All we can do is pray! Maybe I need go buy a lottery ticket! )-:

  • nikmas 07/01/2010 12:24pm

    Everything about this sucks. I used to be proud to be an american and now I am not. They could care less if we have no food or shelter and to all those people against unemployment better hope they do not get laid off because they will be singing a different tune then. I will feel no sympathy for those people. I pray that everthing works out for all the unemployed. I hope they pass the extension and hope we all find jobs that will atleast put food on the table. God bless everyone in this situation.

  • daddyrabbit726 07/01/2010 1:13pm


  • rlaughli 07/01/2010 6:55pm

    Check out this article, after Reid refused to put a standalone bill for UI extensions up for a vote his bill which combined both UI and 1st time home buyer tax credits (and failed 3 times previously) was defeated again. So what did he do…He put up a standalone bill for first time home buyers and not UI! And guess what? It passed and is on its way to the president’s desk. Now you tell me whose fault this all is. He is a RAT and I hope he gets defeated this November! The good people of Nevada can do better. And for the record, not one republican who voted in the negative will ever get a vote from me regardless of the office they run for in the future.

  • LMckinzie 07/03/2010 2:41am

    This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in. ~Theodore Roosevelt

  • emd 07/03/2010 7:22pm

    I haven’t read through all of the posts. I haven’t responded because I just cannot imagine the lack of due process our senators have demonstrated. They should have taken care of the people first, debate the rest later.

    We’re being treated like a third world country. Oh wait. They get aid.

  • Chris51 07/06/2010 1:33pm

    Great reporting on YouTube.

    This news reporting, the debates on CSPAN, and help give the public a close-up look at our cRepresentives job incompetence.

    Congress should draft up a “Fairness To Jobless Citizen’s Act”, that would remove incompetent Senators and be required to replace them with an unemployed American that will appreciate the job opportunity, work hard and will be effective for The People.

  • Chris51 07/07/2010 9:07pm

    CNN has actually screened and blocked several comments/blogs that expose the truth about the Republican Senators in regards to the UI Ext bills.

    Here are some stories written with very accurate reporting of the UI Ext Crisis.

    The unemployment emergency

    Senate struggles with unemployment benefits

    Calls to Suicide Hotlines Skyrocket Along with Unemployment

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 9:34am

    Read and sign this petition on today if you agree.

    Petition Title: Tell your Senators to vote for an emergency extension of UI Benefits.

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 6:36pm

    GOP are determined to bloc everything the President is trying to do for the USA right now. He has a vested interest, and seems to take pride in doing the best job he can while in office.
    We are in trouble as long as Republican politicians continue favoring their special interest.
    How can any CEO or Owner of business get anything done if half of his managers or executives stand in his way just to be defiant.

    President Obama speech on CSPAN today, while in Kansas City, MO to support a future candidate. Was right on.
    If you are an unemployed American, and are thinking no one understands the difficulties of being jobless. Obama speech articulated the financial and emotional struggles well. Hat’s off to the President for saying what needed to be said.

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 6:41pm

    Senator’s excuse for not passing is a false statement.
    Read all about it:
    The funding argument is even harder to swallow. I’d be more sympathetic with these new converts to fiscal responsibility if they were as enthusiastic about paying for extending $32 billion worth of special interest tax breaks as they are about funding the unemployment extension. If I understand correctly, these lawmakers insist that Congress fund every dime of added jobless aid, which nearly all analysts agree will help boost the economy. But they feel no need to pay for continuing these special interest tax breaks, which will not.
    Full Story:

  • Chris51 07/10/2010 6:37am

    Republicans filibustered UI Ext bill! They’re asking for UI Ext be paid, while at the same time they’re fighting to give their Special Interest groups special tax stimulus. Rep are trying to look like they care about the deficit, but for 10 yrs (Bush Admin) they never spoke of concerns for the huge deficit they were digging us into as they approved large spending for Special Interest. The Rep debate on these UI Ext bills are like “broken record”. They want USA to use the stimulus money that is already committed to the agreed upon projects, programs, etc. Republicans want USA to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, so they can try to prolong the problem past November election. This is how they have operated for YEARS, and we’re in worse shape now because of their IRRESPONSIBLENESS. People should not be in Leadership positions if they cant make decision for the problems at hand.
    Dont take my word for it. Please read links Donny Shaw and others have provided with accurate research and reporting.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 9:12pm

    Letter was written to Senators:
    On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to carefully consider all aspects of H.R. 4213…

    If the bill comes to a vote as currently formulated, we encourage you to vote NO, and will track the vote on our Economic Scorecard….

    Signed FreedomWorks President and CEO
    (FreedomWorks funds Tea Party;)

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 9:13pm

    Top 5 Contributions from Oil&Gas Industry 2009-2010:
    1 Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86%Repubs
    2 Exxon Mobil $548,214 13% Dems, 87% Repubs
    3 Chevron Corp $516,891 18% Dems, 82% Repubs
    4 Valero Energy $467,000 17% Dems, 83% Repubs
    5 Marathon Oil $378,190 23% Dems, 76% Repubs

    Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Money flowing primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks receives substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, which make substantial annual donations to conservative org…

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 9:14pm

    Sharron Angle a Tea Party favorite:
    If you’ve been following the ongoing Senate campaign of Nevada hopeful Sharron Angle, you know that she’s sick and tired of the long-term unemployed taking home all of those cushy unemployment benefits. Angle’s angle is that these millions of Americans are just living large on the dole and need to have their unemployment benefits terminated so that they will be motivated to go out and get a job — one of the millions of magical jobs that exist in Sharron Angle’s mind!

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